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Have a ball!

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Dust off your glass slippers and find out what Mardi Gras is really all about

With all of their mystery, pomp and circumstance, Carnival balls shine a spotlight on the true spirit of Mardi Gras: social networks, families, debutantes, sparkling jewels, abundant food, lots of drink, music and fun. Although some of the old-line traditional balls are invitation only, many krewes aim to satisfy their members and attract wide audiences with top-tier talent bookings. Below is a snapshot of just some of the fun that will be happening around the city during Carnival.

nol_jan08_medres_page_53_image_0005.jpgThe Krewe of Shangri-La will present its La Tee Da Ball Masque on January 25 at 8:30 p.m. at the Astor Crowne Plaza. With Angela King serving as the 2008 grand marshal, the formal event (tuxedoes and floorlength dresses required) includes a sit-down dinner, open bar, ball presentation and dancing till 2 a.m. The Shangri-La Ball is open to members and nonmembers. Reservations are limited. For ticket information, call 261-
5043.

nol_jan08_medres_page_53_image_0001.jpgThe Mystic Krewe of Satyricon’s Bal Masque, one of New Orleans’ most sparkling gay Mardi Gras balls, will be held January 27 at the Sugar Mill. With its glittery decor, elaborate costumes, musical numbers and high campiness, the Krewe of Satyricon is definitely the most theatrical event of the season. Returning King Tony Leggio will relinquish his title to a new king who will be revealed at the ball. Tickets and tables for the sixth annual ball are available by calling 525-4498.

The Zulu Coronation Ball Extravaganza will be held on February 1 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. The event features the crowning of King and Queen Zulu 2008, the presentation of 28 maids, food displays at private tables, dancing and “supreme fun.” As one of the oldest Carnival organizations, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club presents world-class entertainment every year, but as of press time the club had not released its headlining talent. In keeping with Zulu standards, the artists will no doubt be stellar performers that members and guests will enjoy. For ticket and table information, call 827-1559 or 827-1661, or visit www.zulu.com.

nol_jan08_medres_page_53_image_0004.jpgThe Endymion parade moves back to its Mid-City route and will present “A Salute to Rudyard Kipling,” featuring floats with popular storybook titles such as “Jungle Book,” “Kim,” “Gunga Din,” and “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.” As a super krewe, the Krewe of Endymion’s Extravaganza on February 2 in the Superdome follows its parade and will feature the Go Go’s, the Doobie Brothers, and Grand Marshal Kevin Costner with his band, Modern West. Getting the Endymion party started will be local favorites Cowboy Mouth, the Chee-Weez and the Wise Guys. For ticket information, call 736-0160.

The irreverent Krewe of Tucks kicks off its revelry with its Coronation Ball on January 18 at 9 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel on Canal Street and will feature live music by Big Wheel. Tickets include a buffet dinner and open bar. Attire is costume or semi-formal. Krewe of Tucks’ Mardi Gras Extravaganza continues after its February 2 parade at the Sheraton Hotel from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will feature music by the Meanies and the Hat Guys. Costume attire is preferred or casual. Reservations are available to nonmembers and advanced purchase is required. For more information, e-mail info@kreweoftucks.com.

nol_jan08_medres_page_53_image_0002.jpgThe Krewe of Orpheus will hold its Orpheuscapade Ball on February 4 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center following its parade through the streets of New Orleans. The star-filled ball will feature Amanda Shaw and the Cute Boys, the Bucktown All-Stars, and country sensation Josh Grayson. The Orpheuscapade Ball reaches its zenith with the entrance of the super-sized floats that roll through the convention center while riders toss beads and assorted goodies. The ball begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until 2:30 a.m. Orpheus allows guests to bring their own liquor and setups are provided at the table. Each table seats 10, and they are assigned on a first-come basis. For table information call, 822-7200 or e-mail info@kreweoforpheus.com.

Just like Cinderella, most balls have a dress code requiring black-tie and evening gowns that hit below the ankles. So dust off your fineries, put on your glass slippers, call your horse and carriage, and dance the night away

nol_jan08_medres_page_53_image_0006.jpgNew Orleans Living is pleased to give you the opportunity to pick up the Basin Street Records, Old New Orleans Rum, and NOLA.com Mardi Gras 2008 CD, featuring music from Kermit Ruffins, Jon Cleary, Henry Butler and Los Hombres Calientes. If you can’t wait to hear the music, click on the NOLA.com link on the homepage of www.BasinStreetRecords.com and stream Mardi Gras Radio. The first 500 people to e-mail MardiGrasNewOrleansLiving@BasinStreetRecords.com with their name and address will receive this CD.